Pest Control Myths: Does Flea & Tick Spray Work On Bed bugs?

  • Written By: Phil Hawes
  • Time to read: 9 min.
bed bug and spray

Bed bugs are a major problem for many people living in urban areas. These pests can be very difficult to exterminate, and their bites can lead to allergic reactions that last for weeks.

One of the most common questions related to bed bug control is whether or not flea and tick spray will work against these pests as well?

Although labeled for fleas or ticks, most pet sprays are also effective against bed bugs. Nevertheless, it’s much better to use a specially formulated insecticide that is targeted at bed bugs of all ages. Also, getting direct contact when spraying will also increase the efficacity of these types of sprays.

In this article, I will explore some myths about pest control and offer effective solutions for eradicating bed bugs from your home.

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Will most flea sprays also kill bed bugs?

As fleas and bed bugs are both insects, most insecticides will kill both species. There are many spray formulas, however, so be sure to read the instructions for a list of insects that can be treated. This being said, the two insects do behave differently, so results may differ and infestations can even grow.

The vast majority of bug sprays on the market will kill almost any species of bug or insect unless otherwise stated. Some species do have special reactions to certain chemicals, so specialist insecticides for these insects, wasps, and bees, for example, exist.

In addition to using an insecticide, it is important to inspect and clean the area. Remove all clutter, vacuum carpets thoroughly, wash bedding in hot water or dry-clean it if possible.

Also, steam furniture with a strong liquid insecticide on fabric surfaces (covering upholstery before spraying), treats cracks and crevices around baseboards with an aerosol spray containing active ingredients known to kill these pests.

Recommended DIY bed bug sprays and treatments

If you can, always seek out the professional assistance of a pest control company. When this isn’t possible, there are still some very effective treatments on the market that, when used correctly, will rid you of this bed bug infestation.

I would recommend the following products:

Raid Bed Bug Detector & Trap

Get some early detection so that you can keep on top of any bed bug infestation

Here is the link to buy this on Amazon.

Bed Bug Interceptors

These are also a good way to catch and detect the presence of bed bugs

Here is the link to buy this on Amazon.

Ortho Home Defense bed bug killer with handy wand

This was just really comfortable and easy to use, so that’s why it’s on my list

Here is the link to buy this on Amazon.

Raid Max Bed Bug Crack & Crevice Extended Protection Foaming Spray

You will need something like this to get into all the nooks and crannies where bed bugs like to hide

Here is the link to buy this on Amazon.

Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

This is a high-tech option that works on lots of pests, but should be used in addition to other treatment methods to kill off a resident infestation.

Here is the link to buy this on Amazon.

What kills bed bugs instantly?

Once located, bed bugs can be killed on the spot with various contact sprays and also with the use of professional heat treatments. Rubbing alcohol, in a diluted spray, has also been found to be an effective home remedy that kills bed bugs on contact. However, locating bed bugs is important if you want to totally exterminate an invading population.

The big issue with killing bed bugs instantly is that these methods work best when you can see them, and they are difficult to spot. This is why it’s important to take care of all the areas that they may hide in if you want them gone for good.

Also, especially with DIY methods such as using rubbing alcohol, these treatments don’t always work at all stages of the bed bug life cycle and only on direct contact.

professional Heat treatments are very effective but very expensive. A cheaper, but perhaps riskier approach is to heat up all soft furnishing in a dryer.

Make sure you bag all the items and securely close them up, bed bugs can be spread from room to room if you just carry stuff about.

So, unless you call in a professional you need to go hunting for these pests, and they may mean taking your bed and bedroom apart to find them.

This is why it’s important to call in the professionals before you lose any sleep over the matter. If you’re not sure whether a DIY method will work, then ask for professional help and don’t take your chances with this always-evolving pest problem.

The good news is that most bed bug treatments are not dangerous for humans or pets, and will not leave your home with lingering odors or toxic residue.

How do you draw bed bugs out of hiding?

The best method to get bed bugs to reveal their hiding places is to use heat and carbon dioxide. Bed bugs are most attracted to body heat and human exhalation as this is how they find their host to feed on. These conditions can be simulated to attract, trap and kill bed bugs. This is best done at night as bed bugs are photophobic.

Hunting bed bugs during the day just isn’t going to be successful, not unless you are taking your bed apart to look for these pests. You’ll probably first see bed bugs at night, and this is the perfect time to figure out where they are coming from.

You need to know where the bed bugs are nesting because this will help you know where to start treatment.

If bed bugs are found in the mattress, for example, this is going to be much more difficult than locating them on a nightstand or dresser because the infestation has likely already spread and established itself elsewhere.

You can catch bed bugs by moving your bed away from walls and other furniture, then fixing a BeapCo 6-hour CO2 trap (link to Amazon). to the wall. This will trap and kill bed bugs that wander up to it.

If you can leave your bed for a night or two, you can simulate heat with a hot water bottle and then place the BeapCo 6-hour CO2 traps all over the bed.

Do dryer sheets keep bed bugs away?

Although pundits will argue otherwise, there is no scientific evidence that bed bugs are repelled by dryer sheets. Lots of people have reported that this does work, but it’s not an effective means of killing off a bed bug infestation. Deterrents just mean that pests move onto a new location, likely still in your home. In this case, an insecticide is needed.

Despite an ongoing internet myth that dryer sheets are an effective way of both deterring and killing bed bugs, I haven’t found any scientific evidence to back this up.

Typically, dryer sheets are made from a variety of ingredients that produce scents. The main one is fabric softener and it’s used to soften clothes as they come out of the dryer. Fabric softeners work by coating fabrics with chemicals such as quaternion-15 which offers some protection against mites, mold, bacteria. However, they aren’t known to be strong insecticides.

I would recommend buying a contact spray to deal with your bed bug issues or calling a pest control company to exterminate your bed bug problem.

How Do bed bugs get into your home?

Bed bugs are small and flat, about the size of an apple seed or smaller; they’re brownish in color with a reddish-brown appearance when engorged on human blood. They can be found anywhere from hotel beds to public transportation seats, but because they need a host to feed on, they are never far from humans.

Bed bugs can’t travel vast distances on their own, and so they are more than likely to be transported into your home in clothing, suitcases, and to some degree by pets.

If you are traveling out of town, take the extra time to get your clothes dry cleaned or run through a hot dryer before you bring them home. Repeat the process when you get back.

It may be a little overkill, but it’s better than having a big bed bug bother.

March 2024

Do bed bugs ever go away?

Bed bugs can certainly be eradicated in the home, but only through a thorough inspection and treatment process. Professionals have a much better success rate than homeowners simply because they have better tools to work with. Early detection is vital and you need to act quickly and consistently to get rid of your bed bugs.

Although it may not seem possible in the middle of a bed bug infestation, they can be evicted from your home.

The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is admitting they’re there. The sooner you can figure out what’s going on the better so that steps towards eradication can be taken. It may not feel like it, but they are made up and will eventually fade from your life if left alone long enough (although this could take years).

If cost is really an issue, then DIY treatments can be successful, just make sure you take the extra steps to disassemble beds and treat floorboards and closets.

Does Vicks VapoRub repel bed bugs?

Vicks VapoRub has the potential to repel bed bugs and many other types of insects due to its mix of essential oils, particularly mint. However, the claims made are not yet backed up by scientific research, and bed bugs will not be killed by this treatment. A more effective approach is to eradicate bed bugs with sprays or professional heat treatments.

Many online forums are crammed full of claims that Vicks VapoRub can repel bed bugs, but not many scientists back up these statements. The thing is, even if this does repel bed bugs, it’s only solving one of the annoying things about these pests, their bites. And it’s not an option for people who are sensitive to the ingredients in Vicks.

If the bed bugs aren’t biting you, great, but they are still in your home and you need to act decisively to evict them. This home remedy won’t achieve that.

Will changing my mattress get rid of bed bugs?

Throwing away a mattress that is infested with bed bugs is not an effective way to eradicate a bed bug population. In fact, it could spread them further afield. Removing the mattress normally won’t remove all the bed bugs.

In most cases, after effective treatment, the homeowner can continue to use the same mattress for many years.

Although bed bugs are often seen on and in mattresses, they won’t limit themselves just to that territory. Bed bugs can live in the crevices in headboards, dressers, and other furniture. So, just replacing a mattress with only gives them new lands to conquer.

Also, while you are moving an infested mattress through your home, you are probably going to spread the bed bug infestation even further.

For this reason alone, it’s pest to have a through inspection of your home and to treat the place with professional treatments. Failing that, get yourself some good bug spray and really search for these pest’s hideouts.

What spray kills bed bugs and their eggs?

Most reputable brands of bed bug spray also target unhatched eggs as well as bed bugs at all stages in the life cycle. If using a contact spray, you will need to locate the eggs and cover them with the insecticide to be effective. Other treatments include using high temperatures to kill off eggs and adults alike.

For the most part, commercial bed bug killers will target both the adult and young of the species, including the eggs. The real issue doesn’t seem to be the spray itself but how it is applied.

Bed bugs are elusive creatures and like to hide in the tiniest of spaces. In order to find them, you’ll need to really look everywhere.

To be doubly sure, you’ll need to use a high-powered vacuum cleaner in order to suck up any bed bugs that might be present on your mattress or box spring, as well as under headboards and behind wall hangings.


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